Trip to Woodlands Cemetery

Old Baldy CWRT Trip to Woodlands Cemetery in West Philadelphia

Location: 4000 Woodland Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Date: Saturday, June 13, 2015

Time: 10:00 AM to about Noon

Cost: $10.00 Per Person (Cemetery Charge)

Cemetery Tour Guide: James Mundy

Click here for the brochure and sign-up form: Woodlands Cemetery Tour Brochure

Meeting of June 11, 2015

Jane Peters Estes on “The Battle of Gettysburg: Where Were the Women?”

Jane Peters EstesFrom the best known to the most obscure, this program discussed the many roles filled by women during the deadliest battle of the Civil War. With information gleaned from diaries, letters, and newspapers of the period, many parts of this program are told in the actual words of the women who lived through the battle.

Jane Peters Estes has been a living historian and active member of Delaware Valley region historical organizations for almost 30 years. Her current affiliations include; Historical Military Impressions, GAR Museum, 26th and 28th PA Volunteers, Mount Holly Historical Society, New Jersey Civil War Heritage Association, General Meade Society, and the Union Patriotic League. She has had articles published in Civil War Lady Magazine, Citizen’s Companion Magazine, Philadelphia Bride Magazine, and People Magazine.

Jane last shared some of her expertise with members of OBCWRT in 2011 when she presented “Christmas Past,” a delightful overview of the origins of many of our Christmas traditions. Her many programs and presentations include: Civil War Nurses, Fashions of the 1860s, Grave Matters (Victorian Mourning Customs), Wedding Customs and Traditions, Women’s Lifestyles of the 1860’s, Vivandieres, Pets of the Past, and The Battle of Gettysburg: Where Were the Women?

June 2015 Newsletter

Meeting of May 14, 2015

The Scheier Brothers on “Civil War Women: Nurses, Leaders, Soldiers, and Spies”

Scheier BrothersThe Scheier Brothers described the contributions of dedicated northern and southern women during the war.

Benjamin and David Scheier, veterans of the Union Army, are composite characters based on actual soldiers’ memoirs, diaries, and other historical records and reflect the experiences and attitudes of soldiers of the era.

The brothers related what everyday life was like, as seen from the perspective of those who served. David told how women served in the Civil War, not always as nurses, but also as women in disguise who fought alongside their husbands. In time, David revealed that “his” name is Sarah, and that “he” is actually Benjamin’s wife, one of the hundreds of married and single women who hid their gender and honorably served as soldiers. Sarah has many tales to tell about women who served as soldiers, nurses, and as spies.

Robert Silverman and Diana Newman, the creators of Benjamin and David Scheier, are Civil War living historians with experience teaching and serving as docents at museums. Robert is a veteran and also serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey Foundation. They reside in Long Branch, NJ.

They created the characters of Benjamin and David Scheier for the purpose of presenting history in an easily accessible and historically accurate way. The Scheier Brothers presentations follow several themes, ranging from the everyday lives of soldiers, to the participation of women, and especially New Jersey women, in the Civil War, and also Civil War mascots. The brothers visit in character; punctuated with period photographs, art, and humor. They may even sing a song or two if time permits.

May 2015 Newsletter

Meeting of April 9, 2015

Don Wiles on “Transport to Hell: SS Sultana, An American Tragedy”

SS Sultana (Library of Congress)

SS Sultana (Library of Congress)

The worst maritime disaster in America occurred April 27,1865, north of Memphis on the Mississippi River. A steamship that was being used to transport returning Union prisoners of war from Confederate prisons to their homes in the Midwest area of the country exploded and sunk. There are a lot of mysteries and questions about the SS Sultana tragedy. The new technologies of steamboat engines, the making of repairs, the greed and conspiracies of Army officers and the Sultana officer, the amount of prisoners put on the ship, the operation of the ship on the flooded Mississippi, the government investigations, the trial to fix blame, the rescue and recovery efforts of the Navy and civilians, why was there no outcry from Americans, how could they ignore approximately 1700 dead from this disaster and now the question of sabotage.

A subject of the Civil War that had been forgotten from the time it happened up to the 1960s (one book was written in 1892). Several books and articles have now been researched and written starting in the 1960s. And now the Sultana’s location has been found and the possible excavation of the remains may be in the future. After 150 years a lot of questions are still unanswered.

An ancestor of Don’s was a prisoner in Andersonville and was on the Sultana and survived. Hear his unique story.

Don Wiles is a member of Old Baldy CWRT and is an amateur historian whose main interest is Gettysburg. His interest in the Sultana was generated by his interest in his family’s genealogy. Don is retired from 50 years as an Illustrator for industrial and commercial companies. He worked at the Kennedy Space Center doing illustrations for the Astronauts, NASA and companies during the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Soyuz, Shuttle, and various Satellite programs. He also did an illustration of the missile cruiser CG 64 Gettysburg for the commissioning in Philadelphia. Don lives in Mount Laurel, New Jersey.

April 2015 Newsletter

Meeting of March 12, 2015

Herb Kaufman on “The Medical Treatment of Our Assassinated Presidents”

man at a podium

Herb Kaufman

Over the years, many, many questions concerning the treatment of our assassinated Presidents have been raised. Beginning with the shooting of President Lincoln in 1865, this presentation examined the medical methods and treatment of our four assassinated presidents: Would President Lincoln have lived with modern medical treatment? Did the doctors really kill President Garfield? Why was President McKinley not taken to a hospital? How did the medical team approach the treatment of President Kennedy? These and other questions were answered in this presentation, “The Medical Treatment of Our Assassinated Presidents.”

We followed the circumstances of their shooting, explore the medical practices of that era, and analyze the medical advances or lack thereof, over the decades that intervened between the assassinations.

Herb Kaufman has been a life-long student of the Civil War era. He is a founding member of the faculty of the Civil War Institute at Manor College, and has taught life long learning courses on a wide variety of Civil War topics at a number of local universities and community groups. He is a well known speaker on a variety of topics relating to the era of the Civil War having presented programs to civic and community groups, and educational and historical associations throughout the Philadelphia area. Continue reading

Meeting of February 12, 2015

Hugh Boyle on “Presidential Assassins”

presidential assassinsFour men have taken the lives of American presidents. Their murderous acts have changed the course of American politics. Who were these murderers? Why did they do it? What did they hope to gain? What brought them to commit these crimes? This is their stories and what brought them to these tragic conclusions.

Hugh Boyle is a founding member and president of the Delaware Valley Civil War Round Table and the April 1865 Society. He serves on the faculty of the Civil War Institute at Manor College in Jenkintown, PA, where he teaches courses on Abraham Lincoln’s life and assassination as well as other Civil War topics. He also serves as Executive Director of the GAR Library and Museum. He is on the board of directors of the annual Bensalem Reenactment. He is a member of the Surratt Society and the General Meade Society and the Abraham Lincoln Association. He is a member of the Lincoln Forum and a book reviewer for Lincoln Herald magazine. He is the former publisher and book review editor of the “Civil war Brigadier” newspaper. He has given lectures to Civil War Round Tables, Museums, Historical Societies and civic groups. He has spoken at seminars and symposiums on Abraham Lincoln, his life his presidency and death. He is now retired from his position as National Sales Manager of Roadpro 12 volt electronics and lives with his wife Rose in Bensalem, PA.

February 2015 Newsletter

Meeting of January 8, 2015

Round Table Discussion: “Grant vs Lee: Did Grant Win … or did Lee Lose?”

Print“To be a good soldier, you must love the army. To be a good commander, you must be willing to order the death of the thing you love.” Robert E. Lee

“In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins.” Ulysses S. Grant

While both Generals Grant and Lee had West Point educations, their respective views of warfare differed greatly. Grant believed in swift action, striking the enemy with vigor and force; Lee was a master tactician, evaluating his enemy’s strengths and weaknesses.

At our January meeting, all members of our round table had the opportunity to consider their own feelings and beliefs of Generals Grant and Lee. Once Grant took command of the Union armies in 1864, how did the North’s perspective of the war change? How did Lee respond to Grant’s tactics? Was Grant truly a “butcher” in his use of the army? Did Lee fail to use his resources in the most effective manner? What could either of them have done differently?

January 2015 Newsletter

Meeting of December 11, 2014

William Sia on “Reconstruction”

Railsplitter cartoonWith the goal of stimulating thought and discussion, Old Baldy Civil War Round Table member William (Bill) Sia reviewed the positions taken by Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson while serving as Chief Executive, the specific actions taken by members of Congress to assert their leadership, that is through legislation and Constitutional amendments, during these administrations, and key decisions handed down by the Supreme Court during this era.

After earning a B.A. at King’s College and an M.A. at Trenton State College, Bill Sia taught American Government to seniors at Pennsauken High School for thirty-five years. He would like to think, as all teachers do, that he contributed to their growth both as students and citizens.

December 2014 Newsletter

Meeting of November 13, 2014

Joe Wilson on “Civil War Artifacts: The Story Behind the Relics”

Joe WilsonOld Baldy C.W.R.T. member Joe Wilson discussed some of his most interesting relics that have a solid history and are often identified to a soldier. An identified relic opens the door and sheds light on the path of the relic through its storied history. Included in the presentation will be the personal Bible of Joe’s great-great-grandfather, Corporal George Garman of the 36th PA Volunteers, which came into Joe’s possession by a series of strange coincidences after a visit to Greenwood Cemetery in Northeast Philadelphia. Glued to the back cover of the Bible, Joe found a photo of Corporal Garman taken upon his release from Andersonville Prison. This image lent a face to an ancestor he had been researching for many years.

Joe Wilson is an avid Civil War relic collector. A retired plumber, in addition to belonging to Old Baldy, he is a member of the General George Meade Society and the Civil War Trust. He is currently working on a book entitled In Line of Battle: The Pennsylvania Reserves.

November 2014 Newsletter